Families of Israeli hostages seek ceasefire, details on kidnapped relatives

Tel Aviv, March 5 (IANS) The Hostages and Missing Families forum of Israel has demanded that the ceasefire deal be accelerated and information on their near and dear ones, who were kidnapped on October 7, 2023 by Hamas, be immediately ascertained.

This is following an interview by a senior Hamas official Basem Naim that the hostages are in the captivity of several groups and the Hamas does not have the exact details on those who are alive or dead.

Naim in an interview to a media organisation said that the information on the kidnapped hostages was valuable and that it can’t be shared for free. He had also said that the condition of the hostages could be ascertained only after a ceasefire.

Olive Mosley, a close relative of a hostage while speaking to IANS said, “The reported statement of this Hamas official is indeed frightening. We are waiting for our dear ones and we don’t know whether they will come back alive or in a coffin.”

She called upon the Israel government to immediately ascertain the situation in Gaza and the condition of hostages.

At least 134 people are in the custody of Hamas and according to Israeli intelligence agencies 32 of them are dead.

Israel has backed out of the ongoing peace talks for a ceasefire before the Ramadan month after Hamas did not provide information on the number of hostages who were alive which the Israeli side has been demanding.

Hamas had a few days ago announced that seven of the hostages were killed but announced the identities of only three were known. According to the Hamas report, Gershom Peri (79), Yoram Itak Merzger (80) and Amiram Israel Cooper (85) were dead. However the families of the hostages said that the information provided by Hamas was unconfirmed and that previously also the militant outfit had given false information as part of its psychological warfare.

The Hostages and Missing Families forum said that Hamas had earlier stated that Hannah Katzir, a hostage, was killed but later released her. Missing families forum and families of those kidnapped called upon the Israel government to accelerate the ceasefire deal and bring back home all the hostages kidnapped and kept in Gaza.



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